Community campaigners in Fife have welcomed an assertion that fears about adverse impacts from the Mossmorran petrochemical plant will be properly addressed.
The Courier revealed last week how local man James Glen met with officials from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in a bid to see continuous noise monitoring equipment installed at two residences in Lochgelly and one in Auchtertool amid concerns about noise levels during flaring at the nearby plant.
A recent investigation suggested that World Health Organisation guidelines for community noise had been breached 19 times out of 22 during the day, and 11 out of 21 times for night-time noise levels, although an initial probe could not determine whether the nearby Little Raith wind farm, the A92 road or the Mossmorran complex was ultimately responsible.
However, Mr Glen, who has been campaigning with other volunteers through the Loch of Shining Waters community website for air monitors to measure pollution from Mossmorran since 2011, described the recent meeting with SEPA as “encouraging”.
“As yet, there has been no final agreement from SEPA to do so as they are “currently collating other data that has been collected” and have agreed to share this data together with their conclusions next week,” he explained.
“Both the local MP Roger Mullin and the constituency MSP Annabelle Ewing have been separately in touch with me about Mossmorran following the Courier publicity and I am meeting them in the coming week.
“I will be raising multiple issues connected with Mossmorran, but I will also be asking our representatives what solutions can be put in place to lessen or remove some of the negative impacts, and where they cannot be satisfactorily dealt with, what pressure can be brought to bear on the operators to ensure that communities and residents are compensated.”
Following the Courier publicity, MSP Alex Rowley said that he was seeking assurances from SEPA that they are monitoring the site for noise and pollution, adding that the Cowdenbeath Area Committee have in the past looked at emissions from this site and have heard from the site itself, NHS Fife and SEPA.
But Mr Glen said that “assurances” would not be enough after 29 years of assurances from various bodies, while communities have been forced to suffer adverse impacts without mitigation or compensation.
He concluded: “The flaring has been among the worst we’ve ever known. The light and noise disrupts sleep, and you see lights on in Lochgelly from residents not sleeping through the early hours of the morning. After 29 years of inaction, Mossmorran’s neighbours are sick fed up being told there’s no problem.”